Some questions and thoughts - *Long post

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Joshua Warner, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. Dear Reader,

    I've been trying for years to figure out how to find my faith again but the more I've been thinking about it the more I've gotten away from it. I'm always so anxious to ask anyone questions because most of the Christians around me are very resistant to the kinds of questions I feel like I need answered, and even if I get any answer they are either extremely vague, or make no sense; in the case of the latter, further explanation is either avoided or explained with further vagueness.

    I signed up for this site inthe hopes that I could get some of these questions answered with the relative security of anonymity.

    The questions that I've found most profoundly difficult to overcome are below:

    If God is portrayed as a perfect being (at least, that is my interpretation of how God is portrayed), then how can God "want" for anything, or be "happy" about anything. I may be misconstruing how perfection, want, and happiness operates, but how I understand it is that in order to want something, you must not already have it, if there is something that you don't have that you would want, how can you be perfect; to further that analogy, happiness, like many things, operates in a dichotomy, where there is happiness, there is unhappiness, so if God can be happy about our faith and going to Heaven, it must be the case that God can be unhappy about something. If that is the case, how can God be perfect?

    What purpose do the varying denominations of Christianity and even all monotheistic (Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, and any others that I've missed) serve? I understand that the basis is upon varying interpretations of the words in the Bible, but it just doesn't make any sense for a piece of work that is supposed to provide guidance and support to be so convoluted and by its nature pit people against each other in a "who's right" debate, instigating countless contests.

    When I think about how I wish my faith could be, I really wish that it didn't necessitate trying to decipher the meaning of a variety of compiled texts written across 3000 years, and was simply supposed to be a reflection of how I live my life and treat others; furthermore I wish that only the only necessity to reach heaven, or whatever afterlife ends up being true among the several interpretations we have, would be to live in that way, being good to one another, not turning yourself into a servant of another, forfeiting the life you were given, and the lives that were given to others. I always hope that if I simply do everything in my power live as a good person, respecting everyone around me, at least believe that there is a god that created everything and remain grateful for the good things that occur in my life, that I should be ok. But instead I am faced with countless decisions that I need to think critically about on a daily basis that continue confuse and outright irritate me about how my life and those around me are affected by them.

    This was an example of the thoughts that I go through on a semi-daily basis about my faith, exactly how I would think them. I would greatly appreciate any help that could be provided in terms of how I am looking at the whole situation of religion, and how my views could be clarified and my questions answered. I realize some of my views and logic could be invalid, and it is for this reason that I am seeking help to create a valid view of these things. In any case, I thank you very much for your help, and apologize for the long post.

  2. #2 Euphemia, Mar 11, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2015
    Welcome to CFS, Josh!

    Here's a little something to begin with, in answer to your queries with just a little touch on how we ought to view God:

    The Needs and Emotions of God, by Bishop T.F. Tenny --start at time 22:30.

    Just know that we are created in the image of God, and so our needs reflect what His needs are, which proves that even the One who is Love and is complete holiness and perfection has needs. It is imperfect human thinking that deems that it is imperfection to have a need. It doesn't mean there is a lack somewhere, and we have to simply take that by faith, because our human minds cannot grasp such a thing, can they?

    For me, I am so glad that my God needs my worship!
  3. #3 CCW95A, Mar 12, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015
    Josh, you are asking a lot of question that can not be answered with in a few sentences. "Happiness" is based on the "circumstances" of life. If every thing is going your way, you are happy. If every thing is not going your way, you are unhappy. Christians deal with "joy" which has nothing to do with the circumstances of life. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit that a person gets when they accept Jesus Christ as their savior. A person can have joy even when every thing in their life is going wrong. God does not have "happy" he has "joy" which is where our joy comes from. Even though the Lord has joy, he also takes no "pleasure" in the death of the wicked when they perish. The Lord God does have senses, that are very similar to our feelings as human beings. The reason why we have "emotions" is because we made into God's image and in his likeness. God is not like man, man is like God.
    The Lord wants (desires) all men to be saved, but not all men will be saved, because the Lord has given man a free will choice to either choose life or death, and man will suffer the consequences of his own decisions weather it be good or bad. God is perfect because he already knows all of your actions, and thoughts you will have before you were born. Since God lives outside "time", yet he is very aware of our situations in this time based world, and he desires you to discover every thing he has prepared for you before the world began. I want to know what these things are for me, so I search the scriptures until I find what these things are and then believe them so I can have them. The Lord gets great joy when his children prosper, and have joy, just like any other earthly father with their own kids.
    Juk, JG27_chili and Euphemia says Amen and like this.
  4. Who is your faith in?
    does your god have a name?
  5. #5 Great Fiction, Mar 12, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015
    Joshua Warner

    Welcome to this forum Joshua

    bear with me
    Happiness is considered the “highest good” in many philosophic circles, and even more pronounced with Aristotelean influences; for his influences have had a lasting influence in philosophy to argue that happiness “is an end,” yet in the Christian faith happiness in not an end of itself.

    For example: Aristotle believed that “happiness” in its best form was Eudaimonia, which meant also well being. The philosophical argument goes:

    Why do you do you fish? I like catching fish
    Why do you like catching fish? They are good to eat
    Why do you like to eat fish? They taste good
    Why do you like eating fish that taste good? Its pleasurable
    Why do you like pleasure? It makes me happy
    Why do you like being happy? I don't know I just do

    Thus its philosophically sound to say that “happiness can be the highest good;” however to a Christian that does not “answer how happiness is internally sourced.”

    Aristotle would argue that appropriation of happiness is ones ability to be “excellence in life” by building character, which can bring about “Eudaimonia;” however as Christians we argue that “excellence, or Eudaimonia is not enough.” The Christian argues that “well being is sourced in a relationship with our creator." The Christian will argue that “fishing” does not truly make someone happy.

    Now to formulate an answer to your post

    If by scripture “we are created in Gods image” and our source of happiness is to “know and love our Creator,” is it then possible that God finds happiness in “loving His creation?”

    A relationship with Jesus Christ is our source of happiness, yet no philosophical approach can apprehend it. A relationship with Him requires one to “totally dedicate in faith,” and “love.” Thus is it reasonable to embrace that Christ is a “real person” who is happy also because He too has relationships in “love.”

    Love realized is happiness, yet no formulated premise in the world can measure it.

    In our natural world how do you “grow to love someone who also loves you?” Christianity is not about rules Per Se, its about love-relationship that has rules, and if one can “draw close to Him,” then they will “realize Him.” When Christ manifests as a “tangible presence” inside you, then there is no force on earth that can convince you that He is not real. Yet this “drawing close” requires a contract to be signed in your heart, a contract of love, faith and voluntary slavery; a contract where everything you own, and everything you are, is given to Him. Its a total forfeiture of what you want and a total dedication to what He wants, which will by communion with Him discover that He will give you the honest desires of your heart. Without this heart-signature of dedication, its then only by His grace that He will be revealed to you; yet technically all thing are by His grace. Thus it requires “faith” to sign your life away to Him and discover why you and Him can be happy together.
    Juk, Where is the Messiah and / says Amen and like this.
  6. Well I was raised a Baptist, and since becoming engaged to my girlfriend, who is of the Methodist faith, I've been trying to bring myself back through a logical approach, hense the arguments that I keep generating to try and come up with an answer.
  7. Well ok both methodists and baptists have one thing in common, Jesus, so, what do you believe about Jesus?
  8. Josh here is the best way to answer all your are going to have to put forth the effort.........
    Romans 12:2 KJV
    And be not conformed to this wortld; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good , and acceptable and perfect will of God.

    and as you do this you will have to make this next verse a must do and put it into practice 24/7/365
    2Corinthians 10:5 KJV
    Casting down "imaginations" or "reasonings" and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into CAPTIVITY every thought to the obedience of Christ.

    This next one I want you to pay attention to the first part of it. This is why that is all I write of it.
    Matthew 6:31 KJV
    31 first part....Therefore Take No Thought- Saying
    How do you take a thought ? You say it or speak it. If you speak the thoughts that you are trying to take captive and cast down it will become a battle of it's own that does not need to be fought. Pluss when you speak words they are also heard with your inner ear or another words your mind pays close attention to the words you speak and files them and they are what ends up controlling how you think or act or react....It really is true !!

    Your FAITH is only as STRONG AS YOU BELIEVE.
    SPEAK 30 FOLD FAITH 70 FOLD DOUBT AND UNBELIEF..... you have now sowed 70 percent weeds into your word seed. This is why your harvest is NOT 100 percent .....

    Last one... This is where you will end up if you learn to put forth the time to make the scriptures above a total way of life 24/7/365
    Galations 5:16 KJV
    This I say then, WALK IN THE SPIRIT and ye shall NOT fulfil the lust of the flesh.
    NOTE: Lust of the flesh can be said as PRESSURE and is not always a sexual thing. Lust of the flesh is simply the way you did things before God or living as the worldly do. Lust of the flesh can be DOUBT....FEAR....UNBELIEF and so forth.

    Once you do these to the point that they have built up your faith you will not have that problem at all. Faith drives it all out. You are going to have to make the choice to choose to do this and FOLLOW THROUGH WITH IT.
    I can say change my life big time.
  9. Great Fiction likes this.
  10. Josh.......I would encourage you to read carfully and consider comment #5. My brother has really hit the nail on the head for you.

    Excellent post "Great Fiction".
    Great Fiction likes this.
  11. Excellent post!
    Great Fiction likes this.
  12. Hello Josh, I notice that most if not all of your questions concern God and not man, ie what makes God happy, not what makes man happy. Or better yet, what pleases God, not what pleases man.
    I think there is a matter of definition coming into play here.
    We have three sources of information about God. The first or primary source of our knowledge comes from the world we live in...Paul spoke of this in Romans 1:20.
    Next comes secondary revelation or souse of information and that is the Holy Scriptures, followed by a direct relationship with Him.
    Now then God, as revealed to us in the Scriptures lacks nothing in Himself, however he has certain expectations, hence requirements of His people. So, we can say He wants our obedience, He wants our worship. What we ought to be saying instead is He requires our obedience, He requires our worship. There is no deficiency in God for having these requirements but there is a deficiency in us and only in us when we fail to meet His expectations.
    Now about happiness. There is no scripture describing God as happy. There are plenty of Scripture that talks in terns of God being either pleased or displeased, and these tie in with expectations being met or not being met.
    I hope this is of some help, and I'll stop here awaiting any feed back from you Josh
    Major likes this.
  13. Josh, just quickly , you mention perfection.
    In a way I believe perfection is relative.
    EG My grasp of the English language is perfect compared to someone who only speaks Chinese, and so on.
    But with God, by what can we measure His perfection? certainly not us!
    Because God is absolute, there is no higher being by which we can measure God's perfection or lack of.
    He must be and intrinsically is perfect, simply because there is no better or equal other to measure His perfection against.

    Hope this also makes sense.
    Major likes this.
  14. Yes, JUST….

    That brings us now to JUSTICE : )

    Justice, as the Romans used to say: “, to give each his due, and in order for each to be given what is his, it is necessary that it already belong to him

    ...hmm, just a thought...: )
    The aim of justice is, as the Romans used to say, to give each his due, and in order for each to be given what is his, it is necessary that it already belong to him; to "give", in this sense, means to protect the right of possession. Each man gets "what belongs to him" in the course of voluntary exchanges that constitute the economic process, and, by virtue of the operation of the market, each receives for his contribution, precisely the amount that will impel him to increase the supply of the most urgently demanded commodities… Only when each man thereby gets what belongs to him, and someone wants to take it away from him, does a question of justice arise.
    Great Fiction likes this.
  15. #15 KingJ, Mar 25, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2015
    1. What faith do you lose exactly?

    2. You are comparing happiness vs unhappiness when you should be comparing life vs death and love vs hate. God loves all of His creation. All that God made is good. Your claim that unhappiness existing = imperfect God is in fact the complete opposite. Evil, death and unhappiness in the world point to perfect love. A God that is humble, tolerant and patient with His creation. He is honoring our free will to do what he hates.

    3. The Holy Spirit gives us one interpretation of scripture. Many denominations point to 1. Christians at varying levels of growth and 2. attack by satan. Paul unites us all with 1 Cor 2:2.

    4. God never gave Cain the ten commandments. Jonah never told Nineveh to respect the Sabbath. Venial sins was not the reason God would rather have the people of Sodom swimming in acid over committing them Gen 19:24. My point is that you are to a degree right. That grey matter between our ears makes us accountable for our actions / sins. That is why babies and mentally handicapped are exempt for now. We cannot ignore what happened with Ananias and Sapphira. They committed to doing something along with Peter and the other disciples. They were dishonest and died on the spot. This speaks to me of us being accountable for what we know. Knowing God's law for the Jews was both a blessing and a curse. As Christians we have God's laws written on our heart. We have less excuse Heb 10:29 for mortal sins. Hence Paul warns us in 1 Cor 5:12.

    God does not want perfection, but He does want us to hate evil Rom 12:9. Those that love doing evil, love the darkness John 3:19, love death Prov 8:36. Hate evil / repent = drawing closer to God James 4:8. Follow the three instructions from Jesus in Matt 16:24 (deny yourself, carry cross and follow Him) = Jesus comes in Rev 3:20. When Jesus is in, we get a revelation of Him being Lord 1 Cor 12:3. That is Christian faith. It is not just 'faith' in a god / religion. If we 'truly' hate what is evil, we will find Him.
  16. Both Methodist and Baptist are good! It all comes down really to the pastor that is in charge and how much oversight there is.
  17. #17 aha, Mar 25, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2015
    continuing the previous post, thus, I think, the Joy, the Happiness of finding a lost sheep, the Joy, the Happiness is a rejoicing because of JUSTICE, something that "already belong" in the first place (as the Roman's used to define Justice)

    … thus, I think, the Joy, the Happiness is more in the context of JUSTICE.. and we are JUSTified by faith…
  18. profound addition aha!

    May I explore your incredible direction further?

    If "happiness is the highest good" realized and sourced in a relationship with God (Aristotelian happiness, but sourced in a Christian relationship), then how is “justice” connected? To your point you mention “to give each his due,” yet what is “his due?”

    If “justice” is God's legitimate delegation of life, liberty and honest property, which is also “his or her due,” then how can that make us “happy?” Well part of our “due” is our natural right of “liberty” which is also our “freedom to worship, and freedom of speech (prayer, and evangelism). Therefore by “getting our due (justice)” our just delegation” then provides a “just-substrate of liberty” for a “relationship” to be possible. Thus justice empowers the liberty for a relationship with God, and a relationship with God enables happiness.

    However we must differentiate that justice alone is not happiness, but simply provides the substrate for happiness to occur: for justice is His delegation that affords us the liberty to be in a relationship with Him. It can then be rational to realize why people in the world who “honestly own much” may still not be happy, since they enjoy justice and property only. Yet if they realize that justice is the legitimate conduit for happiness, then property alone will no longer be sought for ones happiness. For property Per Se is just temporary physical substance, and is static, yet God is living and dynamic, who can provides a true source for happiness.

    However I am not condemning property ownership, but condemning it as the source of happiness. For the just-substrate enables honest property ownership, yet it does not provide happiness in of itself.

    Aha, thus to your wise comment, happiness is indeed connected to justice. I cannot agree more.

    Regretfully we are unfortunate witnesses this very moment to watch in sadness the many people who are being slaughtered for their relationship with Christ abroad because “a just-substrate is despotically rejected in those countries who slaughter;” for there is no protection for life, liberty or honest property. Is it no wonder why Satan will use despotic men to snuff out Natural Rights? For Natural Rights enable a "just-relationship with God."
    Major likes this.
  19. Hi Josh, welcome to the forum. I am new like you and have been saved for decades. I have questions like you have. These questions bother me and have been seeking for a satisfying answers but have not been successful. What bothers me most is the disparity of reality of life and what the Bible said about how to live a joyful life. I concluded that may be the Holy Spirit selectively enlighten whom it choose to enlighten. There are those who are so convicted with the truth that they speak with power and zeal. But for others, we will just to deal with these in our own way. My way of dealing with the doubt is try not to think about these kind of questions anymore. That will take you no where. Follow the 2 commandments - love God, love men. You may find some relief and perhaps happiness. Just like driving a car, I do not need to know how each parts of the car work, I just need to know how to drive and that will take you to the destination. I have a headache trying to understand and accept all these sharing. Jesus uses little children as example. I wish and ask God to give me a child like faith. Little children are very happy because they trust and does not have a sophisticated thinking logic. The wiser we are , the more burden it come with. Unfortunately I can not control my thinking. I was at one time in my spiritual journey very zealous in sharing the gospels, supporting mission work and involve with ministries. Unlike a lot of my co-workers, I must be an odd duck as I do not find any sense of happiness but just weariness. I did the ministry work as like the tour of duties as soldiers. I told myself this was not normal, must be something very wrong with me, wrong motives, sin or whatever. God is perfect and the Bible is infallible so it must be me. It became a vicious cycles and I dropped out of all Christian activities all together. My former ministry friends were all very surprised and tried to bring back me to the wagon. Not that I am extremely happy now as I am on my own. But I do feel a great sense of liberation almost exhilarating. To me , I am in a limbo, not sure where I am - am I still a Christian ? or just a drop out. Down inside my heart I believe God as who He is - all powerful, all wise, omnipotent. Nothing change of His divinity. What changed is I no longer quite understand His character as being a loving Father with my best in heart. The Biblical formula to live a happy life just some times do not add up in real life.

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